Beer coming to Wegmans in PA?
Philly.com reported today that “Wegmans Food Markets Inc. won regulatory approval to sell beer at six Pennsylvania supermarkets, prompting a beer distributors’ association to ask a court Monday to overturn the decision.”
Those of you outside of Pennsylvania may not know that this is a big deal. Currently, in Pennsylvania you can not buy beer in grocery stores. The article reports:
“Pennsylvania’s liquor laws impose conditions for certain categories of licenses, such as requiring food to be sold on the premises and minimum seating capacities, so, with a few exceptions, supermarkets have not sold beer. But Wegmans’ supermarkets have cafes that qualify for “restaurant” licenses, allowing beer, wine and hard liquor to be sold for consumption inside the eating establishment, and the equivalent of 12 16-ounce containers of beer for takeout.”
Wegmans’ attorney distinguished between what they are doing and a regular grocery store: “What Wegmans offers is a restaurant that happens to be based in a grocery store…By no means is it a grocery store selling beer.” The plan is for customers to pay for their beer inside the cafe, not at normal checkout lanes with other grocery items.
Wegmans has an application pending before the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for its store in Downingtown.
Additionally, “an appeal by Sheetz Inc. of the rejection of its plan to sell takeout beer only at a convenience store in Altoona is scheduled for oral argument before the state Supreme Court next month. A lower court said such sales were illegal, because the license Sheetz obtained required at least some beer to be sold for on-premises consumption as well.”